The 25 Days of Holiday Goodies Day 16: Sausage Biscuit Casserole

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This is the recipe we had last year for Christmas morning breakfast with a yogurt parfait bar and Christmas Punch.  It’s awesome for those people who love sausage gravy and biscuits (with a lot less mess).  And…it’s make ahead!  Prep it the day before and put it out on your holiday brunch buffet and sit back and enjoy the ahs and wows.

This recipe is everybody-in-the-family-approved (Muffin, Josh, my parents, and me).  Even the leftovers are great.  I like mine drizzled with hot pepper sauce like Tabasco.

I found this recipe last December and was actually shopping for ingredients (and looking for the gravy packet), when I asked for help from a fellow shopper.  After she showed me which gravy to select, I told her what I was making, and she wrote down the recipe to make the recipe herself.

Sausage Gravy Biscuit Casserole

Source:  Just a Pinch

12 ounces of buttermilk biscuit dough (I use the cheap store brand 10-count biscuits)

6 eggs

1 (2 3/4 ounce) package peppered gravy mix (makes 2 cups)

1 lb sausage, any flavor

1 cup cheese, shredded (The sharper the cheddar is better)

1/2 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 pan.  Brown the sausage in skillet and drain thoroughly. Cut biscuit dough into quarters and scatter along the bottom of the pan.  Scatter cooked sausage over the biscuit pieces. Layer shredded cheese over sausage.  Whisk eggs and milk, add salt and pepper and pour over biscuit/layers.  Make gravy according to instructions, and pour over everything. At this point, if you don’t preheat the oven, you can stash it in your fridge overnight.  If you do preheat the oven, bake for 30-45 minutes or until eggs are set and biscuits are done.  Serve warm.


The 25 Days of Holiday Goodies Day 15: Sugar Cookie Frosting

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…that hardens!

Every year for the first few years of making sugar cookies as a wife and then a wife and mother, I struggled with this concept.  The frosting would either be like cake frosting (and never harden but be soft and fluffy) or like a runny river that never hardened and simply made a big mess.

So, I turned to that old trusty friend, the-site-formerly-known-as-Recipezaar (  And, there, I found the recipe of my (and Muffin’s) dreams!

How does such a lovely frosting get made?  Well, here I am to show you.

Sugar Cookie Frosting (That Hardens)


2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon milk + more if needed to thin it out

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/4 teaspoon other flavoring)

Food coloring


In a small bowl, mix confectioner’s sugar with milk.  Add more milk, as necessary, to reach a spreading consistency.  Beat in syrup and flavoring until smooth and glossy.  Divide into bowls and tint with food coloring.


To use frosting:  paint cookies using a brush.



The 25 Days of Holiday Goodies Day 14: Pizza Balls

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This recipe is also known as Pizza Pull Apart Bread.  It is rumored to be found on Reddit as a .gif.  It is incredibly easy and would be a great addition to any party that requires a heavy appetizer.

The premise is simple:  a can of biscuits, some mozzarella (fresh and shredded), pepperoni, and spaghetti/pizza sauce to dip it in.

Here’s what I did:

Pizza Balls (Source:  Reddit)

1 can Grand’s biscuits, each biscuit cut in half

1 ball fresh mozzarella cut into small slices

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 package sliced pepperoni

Pizza/spaghetti sauce, for dipping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a pie pan.  Press a biscuit half into a circle.  On a biscuit half, place one piece of pepperoni, then a slice of mozzarella, then another slice of pepperoni.  Wrap the biscuit around this pepperoni/mozzarella sandwich to form a ball.  Place it in the pie pan, seam sides down.  Repeat with remaining biscuit halves leaving a bit of space between the balls.  Put pepperoni slices between the balls.  Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve with sauce for dipping.


This recipe is Muffin Approved.

Muffin Approved

Meal Plan Monday: The Almost-Post-Flu Addition

Meal Plan Monday

I missed three days of work last week.  I haven’t missed that many days off in a row since Muffin was born.  As a result, not much cooking got done.  I started to feel really icky Saturday (and especially Sunday).  I’m still not 100%.

This week I have to kick things in gear, getting ready for Christmas-wise.  I’m so behind now it isn’t even funny.

Here’s the menu for this week:

Saturday:  We ate leftover stuffed baked potato.

Sunday:  Chicken Fried Steak (tenderized steaks purchased for under $2 with a $3 off coupon from Brookshire’s), baked potato

Monday:  faculty Christmas party at Rotolo’s!

Tuesday:  Nachos

Wednesday:  pancakes and breakfast meat

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  Natchitoches Meat Pies

Sunday:  soup

The 25 Days of Holiday Goodies Day 13: Neiman Marcus Cookies

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These cookies are awesome!!!  Yes, I don’t usually say that, especially with three exclamation points, but they are.  This is the version of the recipe that I’ve always made that is attached to the fabled $250 recipe.

I’ll let you Google the back story.

After making the tiramisu, I seem to have a ton (well, like a cup) of espresso powder remaining.  I am not a coffee drinker.  When Josh received his Keurig from my parents’ for his birthday, I thought, “Oh, goody!  Let’s go shopping for the ‘non-coffee’ pods!”

So, in thinking up recipes for the 25 Days of Holiday Goodies, I decided to make these cookies (because they require espresso powder).  And because they are awesome!

They don’t make a lot of cookies, so I doubled the recipe.  No, that’s actually not true.  I doubled the recipe because, in my haste, I confused half a cup with half a pound of butter and managed to dump sugar on top of the two sticks before I realized my mistake.

Oh, the best way I’ve found to serve them?  Ten to fifteen seconds in the microwave.  The chocolate chips re-goo-zee-fie and become all lovely and yummy.

Here’s what I did:

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

Source:  All Recipes

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a cookie sheet.  In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until smooth.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Sift together dry powdery ingredients.  Stir into the creamed mixture.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Drop dough using a 1 1/2 tablespoon disher onto the prepared baking sheet.  Cookies should be 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart and large (12-15 cookies).  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

These are completely Muffin Approved!

Muffin Approved


The 25 Days of Holiday Goodies Day 12: Sausage Cheese Bisquick Balls

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Yup.  If you know anything about Bisquick, you’ve probably heard of and/or consumed several dozen (or hundreds) of these bad boys in your lifetime.  In my family growing up, they were a finger food staple.  My mom made ice cream buckets full of them for my sister’s wedding reception back in the 90s.

They are great as a breakfast food (meat, cheese, bread, after all) as well as snack and party food.  They also are really good with a wide variety of sauces (Josh and Muffin prefer ketchup, of course) or by themselves.

Even though some of you probably have this recipe memorized, I’m going to share it with you today.

Bisquick Sausage Cheese Balls

1 pound sausage, room temperature

4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

3 cups baking mix
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients.  Mix together and shape into walnut sized balls.  Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes.  Serve hot.

Yup.  That’s it.  Only three ingredients.  And no, you don’t cook the sausage in advance.  The juices from the sausage serve as a binder.  The hardest part of this is getting the crumbly ingredients to stay together.  If you manage that, you’re golden.